If you are a bird lover, Celery Fields [6893 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240] is the spot to head in the Sarasota area boasting some of the greatest diversity I had seen along the coast. Parking the lot I was initially a bit confused. There was a big hill with a lot of people jogging adjacent to the lot, I wondered if I was in the wrong place. No, the rest of the area is flat filled with ponds and marsh perfect for birding. Take the sidewalks around the circumference of the park – there area a few bisectors and boardwalks – a trusty map may help in your exploration.
So I started to cross the busy street and before I even got to the other side I noticed two black-hooded parakeet, a first for me.
There would be more firsts. Another bird I yearned to see was the impressive sand hill crane. I had been hoping to see it for months – and my first encounter was at this park!
They are very large in stature and quite elegant, but make a guttural raptor call. Another exciting spot were roseate spoonbills – always adding color to the scene.
Even something I see all the time, a great blue heron, was jazzed up on account of its battle with a large writhing black snake! They fought for quite some time, but in the end the snake managed to get away and survive another day.
There were little blue herons, tri colors, egrets, and it was here I first identified a limpkin – who also have a very loud vocal persona.
Large wood storks were present,
along with little teal ducks,
and if you decide to tear your eyes away from the water – you may even see a hawk.
You are bound to enjoy a smorgasbord of biodiversity walking around the ponds, bring a pair of binoculars to enhance the view!